22 February 2007

Little Ashley...

My cousin's little girl Ashley, 5, is pretty cool. She has great big blue eyes, blond curly hair all down her back, an impish smile and so smart!

At 5 (6 in May) she can crochet a simple stitch, loves to do crafts and has a great sense of the world around her.

Ashley has the run of the house right now, she doesn't take crap from anyone and she's a little helper. She wants to grow up and have a house with "Lotsa Kids".

Ashley is currently at Akron Children's Hospital. At 5, as of yesterday, Ashley has just been diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis.

I know very little of this disease except what the doctors have told us. It's terminal. It's hereditary. It's on our side of the family. Apparently we're carriers. Now I have to tell my children, who will have to make choices down the road about the people they marry and whether they will want to have children. At 17, 16 and 14 they have not one iota of a clue about this. They probably have never met the people they will marry. I'm very sad.

I'm sad for Ashley, who at such a young age, knows nothing except Akron is a wonderful place to be for children. I'm sad because she too, will have to make choices about children (should she God-willing) live that long. I'm sad that if she DOES choose to have a family, that she will leave them behind early.

I'm sad for her mother. Vickie is a beautiful person with a heart of gold who's known mostly difficulty in her life. She has another child (10-Thomas) who has Cerebral Palsy. He's a fantastic kid, smart, funny and I'm just sad.

I'm sad for my mother. Jill spends a lot of time with Ashley (they're very close.) They do lots of crafts, she's taught Ashley to crochet. Before Ashley went to the hospital, she brought her favorite toys to my mother to "take care of" while she was gone. My mother is sick over this. I've never been good with words of encouragement, especially with things I don't comprehend. I hope I can help her through this.

I'm sad for myself and my children. This will now always be at the back of my mind as they grow, marry, start families. In my quest for knowledge, there are some things that I probably would have been better off not knowing. *sigh*

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